HC Deb 05 March 1886 vol 303 cc7-8

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to a notice posted at the Beragh (county Tyrone) Railway Station; whether the Alexander Steen referred to occupies the position of Stamp Distributor and Registrar of Births, &c. for the Clogher District; whether all persons named in the notice as those for whom he carts goods were, with the exception of officials, supporters of the Orange candidate at the election then pending, and all the persons, without exception, posted as traders not approved by him, were supporters of the Nationalist candidate; whether the author of this notice is the "A. Steen" whose name was signed to a placard summoning an Orange counter-demonstration at the time and place fixed for a lawful Nationalist election meeting, the placard being couched in the following terms:— Loyalists and Orangemen of South Tyrone, assemble in your strength at Clogher on the 3rd December inst. and hurl back your country's invaders. A. Steen. Clogher, 28th November, 1885. Whether, in response to this appeal, a number of Orangemen did assemble for the purpose of attacking the Nationalist meeting, to the imminent danger of the public peace; whether Steen's name is also signed as one of the Committee of "the North West of Ireland Registration Association" to a handbill summoning "a meeting of Loyalist electors" in the court house, Clogher, on the 20th February, for the purpose of forming a branch of the Association; and, whether, under these circumstances, Steen will be retained in his offices, or whether he will be prosecuted for boycotting? I am, Sir, sorry that the Rules of the House will not permit me to put the terms of the placard on the Notice Paper.


, in reply, said, that Alexander Steen did hold the position mentioned. He had made inquiries, and had been unable to ascertain whether it was his signature that had been appended to the Notice which the hon. Member had been good enough to send him. He had been advised that a pro- secution for "Boycotting" could not be sustained on that notice. He could not obtain evidence through the Constabulary that Alexander Steen was the person who had signed the placard. He was informed that the meeting of Orangemen was the first summoned.


If I am able to give the right hon. Gentleman evidence that Steen was the person who called the Orange demonstration, and that was called subsequently to the Nationalist meeting being convened, will that give ground for the dismissal of Steen from his position?


May I ask whether it is to be a subject for dismissal the taking part in an anti-rebel demonstration?


In reply to the Question of the hon. Member, I cannot promise dismissal until the evidence is laid before us.


Are we to understand that Nationalists are the only people who can—["Order!"]